An innovative medical technology and a minimally invasive procedure allowed Virginia Ferguson to get back to what she loves most – teaching. As a middle school teacher of over 20 years, Virginia Ferguson of Hendersonville, Tenn., thrived from the energy of her students. Even outside of the classroom, she enjoyed a life of frequent activity.
Almost three years ago, however, she started experiencing debilitating pain in her legs. As the pain worsened over time, so did her outlook on life. Once an avid walker, Virginia found herself walking less frequently, until she finally quit altogether.
Eventually her chronic pain prevented her from moving around her classroom. She had to sit at her desk all day, avoiding physical activity that would result in pain and asking the students to come to her at the desk instead of going to them. The source of the problem was unknown, but Virginia knew that she had to take action. She didn’t want to continue living with the constant pain that was preventing her from doing the things she loved most. She even considered quitting her job, but letting her students down was not an option.
The turning point came during a visit with a vascular surgeon who diagnosed Virginia with a vein disease. Virginia underwent a procedure during which the doctor inserted a catheter into a vein and heated the vein wall, causing collagen to shrink and the vein to close. After the vein was sealed shut, blood naturally rerouted to her healthy veins. Prior to this innovative procedure, known as VNUS Closure, a patient with Virginia’s condition would have undergone an invasive and painful procedure that required a recovery period, and often times left the patient worse off than before. Whereas, following this minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, Virginia instantly felt improvement and returned to the classroom the next day.
“I feel like I am in my 20s again,” Virgina says. Along with rededicating herself to her students, she’s gone back to walking and even began ballroom dancing.
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